Thursday, August 9, 2012



Trying to shine to blind the voodoo dolls
sticking sharp pins of insight dipped in stinging nettles
into my eyes like burning thorns that won’t wash out
even when the blue rose of the sky
puts her face in her hands and cries her heart out.
Made my Icarian ascent to the sun
like a kamikaze pilot in reverse trying to be positive
about the self-destructive aspirations
under my thawing wings, now
I’m trying to keep my balance on my spinal cord
stretched like a highwire suspension bridge
across an abyss that keeps expanding my insignificance
as I juggle planets with my feet I keep dropping
like my head in a guillotine made for mercy.

I want to say this is the dung-heap, this is the dogshit,
these are the maggots that thrive in the corruption of it
like toxicara worms that get in your eyes
and under your fingernails, and burrow
like small black holes through your heart
and let all the light out of your life like a slow leak
somewhere in the pipeline of the universe
that’s fracking me inflammably like a watershed
and I’m trying so hard to snow all over it
with the highest ideals of understanding and compassion,
every mystically specific flake sidereally designed
to ameliorate the repulsive and obscene
by cloaking it in white like an albino hypocrite.

For light years I used to believe if you
threw flower seeds in it, you could work it
like starmud blooded by a battlefield of torn corpses
into a bumper crop of zinnias and sublimely poignant stargrass.
Marvellous transformations of an outhouse
into the lunar beauty of the nocturnal Taj Mahal
making the black mirror, like the lost sheep, more beautiful
in a universe where love and light and life so often seem
mere mutations of the darkness.
Didn’t really want to make an ideology of a wild guess,
that would only add to the mess of cultish concepts,
and not really born to sow stardust
into the ploughed wound of a worm,
nevertheless, I drew a gold sword
out of a philosopher’s stone
and plunged it through the base metal of my heart
to suffer all those little deaths in life
and those liberating space twisting
indelible excruciations of cosmic transformation
that wrought this discipline of disobedience
I practise like an art into the absurd freedom
of the crazy wisdom that’s needed to make
a start somewhere, somehow, however small
by adding my crystal skull to the shining
like the sacred syllable of a drop of water
off the tongue of a silver leaf in the moonlight
that listens to it fall like a cross
between a good word and a tear on deaf ears below.
So I throw flower seeds on it in passing, the way
I throw all my loose change into a guitar case
trying to sing for a living against the impossible odds
of a dungheap laid like the corrupt cornerstone of things,
the ship of state expurgating in public like a sick whale
spinning the Parisian potential for the screening myths
of expensive, narcotic fragrances of rot on the Perfume Trail.
Say it isn’t so, Joe, but there you go, it is.
The terrorist oilwells are planting i.e.d.s
of inflammable water in the faucets of everyone’s kitchen,
so we can all burn to death
drowning in our showers in the morning
trying to chill things out
with corporate hellfire and brimstone
and legions of demon lawyers that give lying a bad name.

Been trying not to get so down I get
knocked off my axis like Neptune
ducking down below the celestial equator
and be dragged down into my own depths
by the snapping turtle of the world
that’s founded upon it like a totem on a gantry.
Barring the occasional eclipse to keep
the calendars tuned to the prophecies of doom
ranged against the small beginnings of the new moon
that might squeak through the third eye of the needle
just like mammals did at the end of the late Triassic
as the insignificant consequence of a cosmic event
that upgraded scales to feathers and fur to skin
as wolves turned into whales. Creative destruction
evident in extinction and evolution the same.

I try to keep my spirits up like a lead kite
by approaching it all as if it were
delightfully and horrifically absurd spontaneously
but an unmeaningly free and creative medium nevertheless,
and even if it isn’t etc., the most intriguing of delusions
it’s taken me light years to adapt to
without sitting in perpetual judgement
on the immensity of the darkness
that intensifies the nebularity of my enlightenment
with starclusters of insights that flower
like a mirage of fireworks in my dazzled mind.

Even if it’s no more than a flash of light out of the void
richocheting off the facet of a grain of sand,
or a firefly trying to stand up to the lightning,
or slim volume of igneous poems
wedged like a matchbook between tomes
like anthers of fire with phosphorus pollen
that will spread like wildflowers when it finally blooms
like foxfire in the ashes of an old growth forest.
Even to stand like a lighthouse on the moon,
having lost its sense of purpose, and yet,
still keep the fire in the tower burning as if
there might be a storm the way things change
and there could be a shipwreck, some nights
are so strange they’re like waves or cats
that leave things like dead moles and snakes
on the threshold of the far shore of your door out of here,
I’ve tried to keep on shining like a candle
trying to stay awake at a black starless mass
trying to make things dark enough to make an appearance,
and even when I haven’t managed it,
and all my shepherd moons are scattered like black sheep
by the snarling wolf of my mystically liberating nature,
suddenly showing up like the skull and crossbones
among the angel fleets grazing on the waves,
I’ve elevated waterlilies of constellations
that sat below the salt in the lowest place of all
to the zenith of my dreams like starmaps in transit
I’ve kept alight in a nightwatchman’s eyes for years
as he makes the rounds of the zodiac
like a candle still burning in the lanterns of his tears.




My heart almost dead, a mansion of ashes and ghosts,
a museum of ancient eclipses and supernovas,
the bones of old lovers hanging like wind chimes
in a shadowless forest of charred trees
waiting for mystical rain when the wind wakes up
and spreads its rumour of regeneration.

Love before and love after; even when they hear the music
no one dances. There are no colours in their eyes,
fixed as fired glass, and their tears fall
like lethal riddles on the nervous breakdown of the sphinx.

And it’s all so sad and okay they’re gone
or were never here, or stayed awhile
and passed on like a pilgrim in a dream
to a distant shrine where they could play the goddess.
Who isn’t the god of their own hovel
sweeping dead stars from the sills of their lies like winter flies?
Somewhere deep in space without and within
the light is two guitars at right angles
trying to play with one hand in harmony. And that’s okay, too,
but I’m bored with reading these well-thumbed books of pain
in isolated lighthouses mourning like widows in the rain.

There’s nothing much in the salvage of phantom ships
that makes me want to run down to the shore anymore
and look for survivors. Why shine or warn
when everyone runs aground on the rocks like abandoned arks?
There are dead elephants among the starfish in the tides,
tigers of salt lifeless in the brine, drunk prophets
giving their flesh to the crabs and grazing fish
like wafers of communion served by lifeless dolls,
whole worlds in embryo, dead treble-clefs
and riderless sea-horses. Why turn your heart into a church
for a congregation of coroners; why turn the wine
into embalming fluid and call it holy blood
and pretend it’s salvation
when the bell is already wounded
by a kiss of black lightning
that wanted to cut the judas-goat down from its rope?

The jackals of prayer are out hunting the motherless lamb
with the golden fleece; every leaf hears the scream
and shudders into a sanctuary of hidden roots, safe for the night;
every eye signs the averted glimpse
of sudden blood on the moon
and denies its own work three times at the crowing of the cock
like the founding quicksand of a compromised religion.

Let’s finally agree that love is dead, a dead bird
washed ashore, its neck broken against the window of the sky,
the dead song in the harp of your hand. You’re hip and cool
in the chemical bowers of your emptiness; why
suborn the only witness for the defense
and accuse yourself of jury-tampering
on a constantly remanded day of judgment
when the heart that wrote the law is also the pen that broke it?

Good-bye, little seed, good-bye; the wind is dying
that wanted you to root by the river in endless summer;
a riot of tender stars and lavish wildflowers
too free and full of life along the flowing of the mindstream
for any rational assassin with scissors and a vase.

No one sees the light within the light, the breath within the breath,
or knows who inked the stars like tattoos on the skin-bags of their hearts
the ignorant mistake for dice.

Maybe we could make a raft of all these scattered moonbones
and sail across a dead sea to an undetected paradise
waiting for us to find it like a flower
pressed between the heavy pages of these infinite horizons;
or maybe we could clear a space beneath our eyelids
and renovate the thirteenth misbegotten house of the zodiac
into a life-boat for two and sail off the edge of this flat world
into an ocean of light with eyes like green, green islands.
But who wants to be a castaway
in paradise, alone, an agony of innocence longing for Eve
to step out naked from the mirrorless wardrobes of the trees
where she’s been trying herself on like a spree of flesh?

Even the tramp and the baglady
begging in the alleys and backdoors of Eden
know more about creation than all these unborn angels
panicking into the webs of the landlord spiders
that slum the haloes of the streetlamps
into a fury of mesmerized food.

Even the ghost of the dream that breathed itself out like a crib-death
alone in the nightward of a silent orphanage
is the envy of the nations of the heart
that stand abandoned on the illusory shores of the sea of being
and long for passage through the dangerous doorways of themselves
into the freedom of the fool’s wilderness on the other side.

If even Buddha and the devil had to pawn their holiness to get across,
leaving everything behind,
what a feeble price is asked of us
cringing in these vagrant shadows under a private bridge.
But what’s the good of following these symbols to the water’s edge
like sacred footprints if you won’t joyfully plunge in?

O you who look among the pages of all these sages and books
for somewhere to send your love-letters to
like a fixed address for life; do you want
to know the meaning, the secret of it all, the key to your release
from all the straitjackets and hasty refugee camps
you’ve established at your guarded border-crossings within
demanding phoney passports from the clouds and the wind
to end your own homeless wandering?

Do you want to wear a real face over that mask
that fear carved on both sides like a one-way mirror
to interrogate yourself into exhaustion for an unknown sin?

When love lights the dark house like a lamp within;
in a word that’s never known birth or perishing,
feeling it softly like the folding of wings
or the breath of a butterfly on the white rose of your skin,
put an end to the long glacial ages of yourself, thaw the grim fictions
and like a stream that whispers in its running, joy
its only teacher, one word along its length: